What if your son were gay? Imagine asking yourself that question when he was first born or just a toddler. I asked myself that question when my son was three years old. I remember telling his father, “I don’t care if he marries someone of another religion or race, but I don’t think I could handle it if he were gay.”
With that kind of an attitude, what message do we give our child? This came up for me recently when reading some of the tweets Kevin Hart posted that caused him to lose his job hosting the Oscars.
In 2001, he tweeted, “Yo if my son comes home & try’s 2 play with my daughters doll house I’m going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice ‘stop that’s gay’” In 2010 he devoted part of a stand-up special to describing his terror that his son would turn out to be gay — and his intention to prevent it however he could.
I doubt that his child read his tweets or saw his stand-up. But it makes me wonder what other messages he gave his son. And if his son did turn out to be gay, how did that impact him?
Studies show that kids who hear those messages are more likely to attempt suicide, practice unsafe sex and abuse drugs. How can a gay child with those message feel any sense of value or love who they are?
Those who grew up and raised their children in non-affirming churches know the damage those messages cause.
So, I ask you if you are the parent of a young boy, what if your son were gay? Would that change your words, your thoughts, your deeds?